Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Fry, Mrs. Elizabeth, the daughter of John Gurney, a wealthy Quaker of Norwich, was born in 1780. At the age of eighteen her religious fervour was roused by the preaching of Savory. She married Joseph Fry, a London merchant, in 1800, and, though she had a large family, contrived to devote much of her care to the poor of her neighbourhood. Her charity and her simple eloquence won for her the position of minister amongst the Friends. About 1813 her attention was directed by Howard's example to the appalling features of prison life. Four years later she established the Association for the Improvement of Female Prisoners in Newgate, and in 1819, together with her brother, Joseph, visited the criminal establishments in the north and in Scotland. Her benevolent work was recognised by Parliament, and soon bore excellent fruit. In 1827 she made a tour of inspection in Ireland, and extended her observation to lunatic asylums and hospitals. The whole of Europe now awoke to its responsibilities, and from 1838 to 1842 Mrs. Fry was engaged in inquiries, which took her over France, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland,' Prussia, and Denmark. Unremitting toil then told upon her health, and in 1845 her noble life of self-sacrifice was brought to an end. Her Memoirs, Journals, and Letters were edited in 1847 by two of her daughters.